1. Prepare for the event. Ask the organisers for a list of who is attending and identify who you want to meet at the event.
(Perhaps link on social media or by email with people beforehand, let them know you are attending and would like to meet them. How great is it to have three appointments set up before walking in the door.)
2. Prepare your answers to the usual questions, such as “what do you do?” Prepare an answer that is memorable and will make people want to ask you more questions.
My profession is a Venue Finder, so instead of saying that I tell people I am a matchmaker and then explain I am a Venue Matchmaker once they ask. This way I have their attention. It is also a good idea to try to answer questions with the result you deliver for your clients. A Health and Safety consultant told me recently he saved his client €40,000 on their insurance. This is a lot more effective than just saying “I am a health and safety consultant.”
3. Have a few questions prepared for you to ask so you can bring the conversation around to what you want to talk about.
4. Have plenty of business cards with you, I am still amazed at the number of people who attend a networking event and say “I ran out of business cards”.
5. What to wear- Wear what is appropriate to who you want to meet and to the event. I like to wear colour to help me stand out from the crowd.
At the event:
6. The number one rule of networking at an event is not to sell.
7. Listen and ask great questions. The most important question to ask is – “how can I help you”? People will remember you for that. Another great question is “what are you working on at the moment”? Ensure you have a great answer to this yourself. This will help you to bring the conversation around to highlighting your expertise.
8. Act like a host rather than a guest.
9. Have an exit strategy in case you get caught talking to someone you feel isn’t going to leave your side for the event! There are lots of great exit strategies and we will go over a few at our networking event on January 15th.
After the event
10. Follow up and do what you say you will do. This is the single most important thing to do. It is the reason that networking may not be effective. Send an email, write a note, send them on an article relevant to what you spoke about at the event, and connect with them on social media.
To book a place on the Tuesday, January 15th networking event RSVP to Julia on 021-2428120, Julia@recruitmentmagic.com or online at www.bnicorkcity.com.